Using the enhanced conditional text feature in Adobe FrameMaker 8.0

This tutorial introduces a much anticipated feature in FrameMaker 8.0: The enhanced conditional text feature. Managing conditions is now easier, and you can combine conditions and apply multiple tags in your documents. You can also build visually distinctive expressions based conditional tags, to identify text that has been assigned multiple conditional tags.

Requirements

To follow along with this article, you need this software:

Prerequisite knowledge:

Managing Conditions

  1. In FrameMaker 8.0, choose File > Open.
  2. Select the file L01_structuredl.fm and click Open.
  3. Choose Special > Conditional Text > Manage conditions. This opens up the Manage Condition Tag dialog box.(See Figure 1)
  4. Image 1

    Figure 1: The Manage Conditions Dialog box

    In the Manage Condition Tag dialog box you can add new conditions. You are also able to edit already existing conditions, which is new in Framemaker 8.0.

  5. Select the "cds only" tag and then click Edit. This opens up the Edit Condition dialog box, where you can rename the tag. (See Figure 2)
  6. Image 3

    Figure 2: The Edit Condition Tag dialog box.

  7. Click in the Rename tag input field and rename the "cds only" tag, "cd only".
  8. Click Set.
  9. The tag is now renamed throughout the document. In previous versions of FrameMaker this action created a new condition tag. If you want to add a new condition tag, go to the Manage Condition Tag dialog box and click Add.

Visualizing Multiple Applications of Conditions

Applying conditions is just as easy as in previous versions of FrameMaker. New in FrameMaker 8.0 is that it is possible to visually distinguish between multiple applications of conditions.

  1. Go to Special > Conditional Text > Apply Conditional Text.... This opens up the Conditional Text dialog box. (See Figure 3)
  2. Image 3

    Figure 3: The Conditional Text dialog box.

  3. Select the first paragraph in the document and click "cd only" in the dialog box.
  4. Click the Left Arrow button to place the condition in the In window of the dialog box.
  5. Click Apply. The selected text now turns blue.
  6. Note: To change the color for a condition, go to the Manage Condition Tag dialog box and click Edit.

  7. Select the second paragraph and click the "online only" condition in the dialog box.
  8. Click the Left Arrow button to place the condition in the In window of the dialog box.
  9. Click Apply. The selected text now turns green.
  10. Select the third paragraph and click the "print only" condition in the dialog box.
  11. Click the Left Arrow button to place the condition in the In window of the dialog box.
  12. Click Apply. The selected paragraph now turns red.
  13. Now select the fourth paragraph and click the "cd only" condition in the dialog box.
  14. Click the Left Arrow button to place the condition in the In window of the dialog box.
  15. Click Apply. As before, the text turns blue.
  16. Now re-select the fourth paragraph, but this time select the "print only" condition.
  17. Click the Left Arrow button to place the condition in the In window of the dialog box.
  18. Click Apply.
  19. As you can see, the colors are now mixed (see Figure 4). Blue and red becomes violet. This makes it much easier to see where in the document you are working with multiple conditions.

    Image 4

    Figure 4: The blue and the red conditions mix and become violet.

Filtering by Expression

Another new feature in Adobe FrameMaker 8.0 is the possibility to filter the document by expressions, based on conditional text.

  1. There are two ways to access the Show/Hide Conditional Text dialog box:
  2. Click the Show as per Expression button and then click Build Expression. This opens up the Build Expression dialog box.
  3. Image 5

    Figure 5: The Build Expression dialog box.

  4. Click the Clear button in the Build Expression dialog box.
  5. Now, if you for instance wish to see "print only" and "cd only", but not "online only" this is easy.

  6. Click on the "cd only" condition tag and then click the Right Arrow button.
  7. Click the AND button.
  8. Select the "print only" tag and click the Right Arrow button.
  9. Click the AND button, followed by the NOT button.
  10. Select the "online only" tag, and click the Right Arrow button.(See Figure 6)
  11. Image 6

    Figure 6: Building an expression.

  12. When you are finished with building the expression, click Set.
  13. To display the content according to the newly created expression, click Set in the Show/Hide Conditional Text dialog.
  14. The document now only displays the text that fit with the expression you set. You are only viewing the content that relates to the conditions "cd only" and "print only", and not the condition "online only".

    This is a powerful tool to make the document suit different receivers in a single source publishing workflow. Since FrameMaker 7 it is also possible to preserve these conditions throughout the XML workflow.

Where to go from here

For more information and additional tutorials, visit the Adobe Design Center.